Saunas and sweat baths have been used by various cultures throughout history to flush out toxins and disease and maintain optimal physical and mental health. Saunas can also play a big role in preventing or reversing cancer.
In a 2004 article in the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Lawrence Wilson, MD, wrote, “If I were to single out one method to combat cancer, it is the sauna. It assists removal of chemical toxins and heavy metals, increases oxygenation, enhances the immune system, and reduces the radiation burden in the body.”
Using heat to treat illness is not new. Over 2,000 years ago, the famous Greek physician Parmenides said, “Give me the power to create fever, and I will cure any disease.”
Six Ways Saunas help with Cancer
1 – Direct Cancer Cell Death: The principle of hyperthermia is that cancer cells are much more sensitive to and intolerant of the effects of excessive heat than normal cells. Tumors have an impaired ability to adapt their blood circulation to the effects of high temperatures. Said simply, because cancer cells are weaker than normal cells, they are more susceptible to damage from heat. In fact, high temperatures can actually kill cancer cells, usually without damage to healthy cells.
2 – Improved Circulation: Infrared saunas boost circulation, which helps to bring essential nutrients, oxygen and other substances to the cells of the body. Since cancer often grows in tissues with poor circulation – and thus poor nutrition and oxygenation — and since cancer cells do not thrive in a high oxygen environment, improving circulation can help reverse the cancer process.
3 – Elimination of Toxins: Without efficient circulation, not only do health-promoting nutrients and oxygen not get into our cells, but also waste materials cannot get out. Saunas help purge the body of hundreds of toxins, such as heavy metals, chemicals, and pesticides. Sauna treatments can help remove lead, copper, mercury, arsenic and cyanide and help to balance the body’s pH by neutralizing excessively acid body chemistry.
4 – Weight Loss: According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, obesity is a known risk factor, not only for cancer, but also for cancer death. There are many reasons for this, among them the fact that cancer-promoting hormones and carcinogens are lipophylic – they hang around in fatty tissue and have a tough time metabolizing out..
5 – Immunity Activation: While conventional cancer treatments often suppress immune function, hyperthermia can actually enhance it — through a whole cascade of immune cell responses. According to German professor Rolf Issels, MD, PhD, of the University of Munich, hyperthermia produces ´heat shock´ proteins on the surface of the cancer cells, making them more prone to attack by the immune system.
6 – Stress Reduction: Inside a sauna, there is peacefulness. One can easily shut out daily cares and interruptions from the world outside. One can read, listen to music, meditate or pray without interruption. But saunas do more for your nerve system than make you feel good. Saunas have the ability to powerfully reduce the activity of the sympathetic nerve system. Excessive activity of the sympathetic nervous system is a contributing factor in many cancer cases. The sympathetic branch of the body’s autonomic nervous system activates the brain, muscles, thyroid and adrenal glands in its fright – fight – flight response to stress. However, it also strongly inhibits digestion, immune response and eliminative organ function. Cancer patients desperately need more immune, digestive and eliminative activity.
I hope you found this information helpful. Please take good care of yourself and others.